Child custody question


#1

my husband and i have been separated for about 15 months. i left our home w/ our 2 small kids. since, i gave birth to our third child. i left b/c of my husbands involvment w/ drugs. since we left, he has seen the children only once, when our 3rd was born b/c i allowed him to come to the hospital. he constantly asks to see the children, but has not legally requested visitation rights. i do not want to get caught in the middle and be in charge of supervising him w/ kids. i am not comfortable w/ him spending time w/ children b/c of his drug use.

about one month after we left, i consulted an attorney and he sent my husband a letter regarding seeing the children. my husband scheduled to meet w/ my attorney and then canceled the meeting. i requested that in order to see the kids, he should submit a hair folicle drug test and be willing to take random drug tests, also that the visitation be supervised and that the children are not forced to go if they do not want to.

now, he claims that he will file for a no-fault divorce and joint custody of the kids. i do not want joint custody. i have no proof that he has stopped using drugs or got any treatment.

he has been behind on his court ordered child support payments. he also claims that he will file for a reduction of his child support.

my questions are if he is likely to get a reduction in child support (b/c he is not employed) and what is the best thing to do regarding protecting my kids.

sorry this is so long. thank you so much in advance.


#2

Sounds like he can file for divorce, and he can file for custody. Unless you can show really bad stuff about him the court is likely to award joint custody. He can also file for a modification of child support. Unless you can show he’s acted in bad faith by not being employed, the court is likely to reduce his child support.


#3

thank you so much for replying.

what would be considered bad stuff? would an admission to drug use via text message count (text is from 2010)? what if he has not been applying to any jobs anywhere for about 2 yrs now? not sure what would help my situation. i appreciate all the input and help. thank you in advance.


#4

would the fact that he has been using cocaine for over 6yrs and also dealing drugs not be enough? what kind of proof would i need to have?


#5

not an attorney

As much as I hate it, I have a LOT of experience in what you’re dealing with.

My ex is also a crack/cocaine addict, and I now have sole custody of our child. What helped me when we went to court (initially for emergency custody because he was telling our son that he was coming to take him) was that I had written proof of him being an addict (a letter he wrote to me, in his handwriting, admitting to being an addict and unable to control it), evidence that he gave MY credit card to his drug dealer in exchange for drugs (and the dealer used my credit card to pay for her hotel room…stupid), and the fact that he lied to the judge about his drug use, along with a myriad of other random pieces of proof, like drug paraphernalia that I found in my car (that I repossessed from him after I left - he was the sole driver of it for months before I left). He told him that he had been clean for “6-7 months”. I asked the judge for a drug test to prove it, and he ordered a hair follicle drug test…which he then failed with Astonishingly HIGH numbers (63x the cut-off for positive). The judge forewarned him that if he failed, he would revoke visitatation, which he promptly did.

The rest of the case was transferred to FL (where I moved with our son when we left…drug dealers had our address in NC, it was NOT safe), but he again lied to the court (saying he was going to rehab in order to get a visit in November 2010, which my attorney advised I allow, so I did…and then 2 days later, he ‘changed his mind’ and didn’t go). And, at our divorce hearing (nothing got accomplished in mediation because he refused to show up), he was smug and admitted to everything…our judge told him that she was awarding me sole custody (physical and legal) and that he gets supervised visitation…but in order to get the supervised visitation, he has to pass a 90-day hair follicle drug test AND a same-day urine test to prove his sobriety. This was April 2011…he has not even taken a hair follicle test, and therefore has not seen our son.

Also, for child support, my ex walked out and quit his job the day before our child support hearing (btw, let CSE take care of it for you…way cheap and they keep track of everything and enforce), and the judge didn’t take too kindly to that (again, he lied…said he got laid off…the former employer confirmed that he quit), and imputed income for him. It’s been my experience that the courts don’t like it when ‘fathers’ like this try to skirt the system in an effort to avoid responsibility for their children. My ex got to spend 30 days at “Chez Pokey” for not paying his child support, and now he sends it…it’s sporadic, and he’s behind, but I do get child support from him…I guess he didn’t like jail too much…makes it too hard to find more crack.

So, all this to say that even if he does file for custody, if you have ANY evidence of drug addiction, I would ask the courts to order him to take a hair follicle drug test to either prove his sobriety or how bad his addiction is. That test alone will be a good indicator to the court of if he is suitable to be alone with the children. And these tests canNOT be fooled…

One more thing…if you can account for any/some money that he spent on drugs while you were married, that can be accounted for in Equitable Distribution…money spent on non-marital purposes is not something that you have to split the value of…so in my case, I could account for approximately $13,000 that my ex spent on drugs/strip clubs/etc, and the judge awarded him that $13K and then I got $13K of other assets…which otherwise would have been split and I would have only gotten 6500 of…so start doing some investigating now if you can!

I hope this helps!!!

again, not an attorney, just another mother who got the hell out of a really bad situation


#6

needtoleave,

thank you so much for your reply. i cannot tell you how much your advice has helped me. at least now i have some direction in knowing a little bit more about it. thank you for all your help. i don’t have any experience with the court system and how it works, so any input is much apprectiated.